It's no secret that, as you age, you become more susceptible to certain injuries and ailments — and one of the most common injuries that affect older adults is falling. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four American seniors experiences a fall each year, and unfortunately, for those 65 and older, those falls can be fatal, resulting in broken bones, fractured hips and joints, and head injuries.
Since many falls happen to take place in someone’s own home, you should take a few measures to adjust your home to prevent senior falls and keep your loved ones safe.
Move Seniors Downstairs
Once they reach a certain age, climbing stairs to get to their bedrooms can be dangerous for seniors and result in accidental falls. If possible, relocate their bedroom to the first floor of your home so they have an easier (and safer) time getting to it.
Decorative rugs can pose two major threats to seniors. The rugs can move around and cause seniors to slip — while, in other cases, the rugs can curl up and cause seniors to trip over them. It’s often best to remove these rugs altogether, but if they must remain in the house, make sure to secure them to the floor using rug pads or liners.
Add No-Slip Mats
Even the smallest slip can lead to a dangerous fall, so add cushioned, non-slip mats around your home. These are best placed in kitchens, bathrooms, and on stairs, since these are the places that seniors can often find themselves at risk.
Secure Loose Cords and Wires
If you have a lamp or electronic cords running along the floors in your home, they can easily entangle your senior’s foot while they’re walking and cause them to fall and injure themselves. Make sure that all cords are tucked behind furniture and away from any paths in your home.
Rearrange Your Furniture
If your current furniture set-up creates more narrow walkways or a more complicated path through your home, you should consider rearranging the pieces to allow for easier movement. Move centered pieces to be along the walls and move any side tables to be flush with your furniture. The fewer stray pieces and less clutter, the safer seniors will be from accidental falls.
Keep Kitchen Items Lower
If you know there are kitchen items that your elderly loved ones use often, store those items in lower cabinets. If they’re in higher places, seniors can injury themselves trying to climb step stools or chairs to reach them.
Handle the Bathroom
Bathrooms are one of the most common places for seniors to fall, so you need to take a number of measures to ensure your loved one’s safety. This includes:
Adding Handrails: You should have handrails installed anywhere your senior may need help supporting themselves, such as in the shower, around the toilet, and next to the sink.
Using Non-Slips Mats: Lay down either one large non-slip mat in your shower/bathtub or use several smaller, non-slip stickers.
Clean the Shower Regularly: A buildup of soap scum in the shower can cause your shower to become very slippery, so make sure to clean and rinse it on a regular basis to prevent falls.
Keep the House Well Lit
The more lights you have illuminating your home, the less of a chance there is of your senior bumping into (or slipping) on something, which will ultimately cause a fall. Besides your typical lamps and room lighting, you should also place a few nightlights in hallways, bathrooms, and leave a small light on in the kitchen, just in case your senior gets up in the middle of the night and needs to see where they’re going.
Repair Outdoor Issues
Once you have all your indoor bases covered, it’s time to head outside. In order to prevent falls:
Repair any breaks or cracks in your walkway
Repair or install sturdy handrails on steps
Roll up hoses or other yard clutter that could cause falls.
Prevent Fall with In-Home Care
Especially if your senior lives on their own, falls become even more dangerous. With the help of an in-home caregiver, we can help you senior stay safe and healthy, all while being in the comfort of their own home.
Contact us today for more information about our services.